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    Wind turbine project denied


    January 19, 2022 - Rebecca Zemencik

     

      VALLEY VIEW - The proposed Anthracite Ridge LLC wind farm project has been denied by the Hegins Township Zoning Hearing Board.

      The five-minute meeting was held Tuesday, Jan. 11, when members Larry Umholtz and Todd Bixler voted to reject the application.

      Umholtz, the board chairman, said the board found the application, submitted by Anthracite Ridge LLC, didn't meet the requirements of the township's wind energy safety ordinance.

      The Wind Safety Ordinance states that anyone constructing a wind farm in the township must get a permit; comply with construction codes; have safety provisions identifying roads and provisions relating to damage of roads; have standards related to noise; have a development agreement; and inform property owners and appropriate agencies. Hegins Township Supervisors Solicitor Donald Karpowich argued this point during hearings held earlier last year.

      Nick Cohan, head of the Philadelphia-based Global Energy Generation LLC was seeking the boards approval on the proposed $300 million wind farm which would have included the erection of wind turbines on 12,000 acres in Hegins, Frailey, Porter and Tremont Townships.

      Hegins Township is the only entity that determines its own zoning. The other municipalities are covered by Schuylkill County Zoning which denied the application as well.

      The decision came 60 days after the last hearing which was held this past November

      Although the project was controversial, only 13 people attended the determination hearing.

      "The community didn't want them and I'm glad it was denied," said Hegins Township Supervisor Chairman Bruce Klouser.

      Kris Wetzel of Valley View, who had hired his own attorney, Bruce Enders, was very pleased the application was denied.

      The turbines would have been on top of the mountain above his home.

      Anthracite Ridge LLC claimed the project would boost the tax revenues of the township, and claimed they would have contributed host payments to the township and the Tri-Valley School District - it wasn't enough to win the approval of the zoning hearing board.

      Umholtz said a written decision would be issued, after which the developer has 30 days to appeal the decision.

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